What’s on TV
BIG LITTLE LIES 9 p.m. on HBO. In its first season, this melodramatic murder-mystery defined itself as a whodunit decidedly more interested in its characters than its puzzle. Forget the mystery of the killer; the season took until its final episode to even reveal who had been killed. Instead, the show, created by David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal”) and based on a novel by Liane Moriarty, trained its eyes on its beautiful Monterey, Calif., location and the lives of its central characters: a tech executive (Laura Dern), a retired lawyer (Nicole Kidman) and a recently remarried, very outspoken mother (Reese Witherspoon). While initially marketed as a mini-series, the show is back for a second season — this time moving past the plot of the novel and adding Meryl Streep, who plays the mother-in-law of Kidman’s character, and Andrea Arnold (“American Honey”), who directs.
BLINDSPOTTING (2018) 2:55 p.m. on ActionMax. In her review for The New York Times, Manohla Dargis wrote that “The Last Black Man in San Francisco,” out this weekend, “belongs to a handful of recent Bay Area movies about the African-American experience that includes ‘Blindspotting’ and ‘Sorry to Bother You.’” In each, she wrote, “black characters confront (among other things) gentrification.” In “Blindspotting,” that issue is even baked into the opening credits, which show, in split-screen, Oakland from two different perspectives: that of longtime residents and that of wealthy transplants. The main character, Collin (Daveed Diggs), is a longtimer — and when the movie starts, he’s nearing the end of his probation and working at a moving company. The plot involves Collin’s witnessing an officer-involved shooting and struggling to maintain a friendship that threatens to derail him.
CLAWS 9 p.m. on TNT. “We are more than just nail artists,” the comic actress Niecy Nash’s character says in a trailer for Season 3 of “Claws.” It’s a bit of an understatement. The strip-mall manicurists at the center of the series have been involved in organized crime for two seasons now, making for what Mike Hale described in his review for The Times as “a mash-up of ‘Steel Magnolias’ and ‘Breaking Bad.’” The second season ended with a shooting; this season sees the ladies getting involved in the casino business.
TALES OF THE CITY Stream on Netflix. Across the bay from “Blindspotting” are the characters of this 10-episode series, the latest adaptation of (and a contemporary sequel to) the Armistead Maupin novels. Laura Linney plays Mary Ann, who leaves a comfortable East Coast life to hang out with a new generation in San Francisco. While the famed ’90s mini-series adaptation was trailblazing in its depictions of gay and transgender characters, the Netflix series, Mike Hale said in his review for The Times, feels less fresh. “For a celebration of diverse identities and lifestyles, with a healthy amount of nudity and some graphic depictions of sex, it’s resolutely square,” he wrote.